Letters to the editor — Nov. 2, 2022

Ballot box security

My wife and I drove to the Ballot Dropbox in a darkened JCPenny’s lot last night, parked by the box, and dropped our the ballots in. I turned to get in the car and noticed a car backed into a stall at one of the adjacent businesses and could see one or two guys in the front. I felt like calling and reporting it to the Sequim City Police Department, which I did.

I followed up the next day with the Sequim Police. They do make patrols of the area around drop boxes and I was told that officers monitor activity to ensure the observers stay at least 100 feet away from voters depositing their ballots.

I explained to the officer the vehicle while more than 100 feet away was this darkened vehicle with the lights out, that was still suspicious and threatening in the sense you couldn’t see in the car, who the occupants were, or if they were armed.

To protect the integrity of the vote and your safety while casting your vote as well other registered voters in Clallam County, don’t hesitate to call the Sequim City Police Department. Call 360-683-7227 to report suspicious activity around Ballot Drop Boxes and other polling places.

Roger Briggs


Stores leaving Sequim

I am becoming very concerned about the exodus of national chain stores departing Sequim. JCPenney’s, Sears and Office Depot all helped to diversify products and provide goods and services to us.

I know online ordering has increased because of COVID, but many still want to go in a store and look at the products, try them on, talk to a real person to get answers, etc. I have only seen quotes from the national offices of these stores.

What has the Sequim City Council, chamber of commerce and Economic Development Council been doing to prevent this exodus?

These stores also provided jobs to local people.

I won’t go into how ordering online and driving to Silverdale increases the environmental “cost” to all of us.

Please let the above entities know you expect them to interact with these national business offices and try to prevent more stores from leaving our community.

A real possibility right now is the QFC/Safeway issue.* Let your voice be heard!

Lorri Gilchrist


* — Editor’s note: Kroger, which owns stores including Fred Meyer and QFC, plans to buy Albertsons, the parent company of Safeway, in a deal valued at $24.6 billion, a merger that would merge the two largest grocery-store chains in the U.S., according to multiple news reports. “There is a lot of overlap between the two competitors and… it’s highly likely they would divest stores and markets where there is a heavy overlap,” Tom Gilpatrick, Portland State University marketing professor, told The Oregonian (Oct. 18).

Vote for Hays, fair rates

If you are a Clallam PUD ratepayer and haven’t voted yet, perhaps this will encourage you. Because a vote for Ken Hays is a vote for fair rates! Here’s why …

Have you looked at your Clallam PUD power bill lately? Part of your bill is a charge for your electrical use, but part of it is called a “base rate.” You get charged that much no matter how much power you use.

Clallam PUD has been steadily raising base rates. While the Cost of Living Index (CPI, our government’s measure of inflation) since 2008 has gone up typically by 1-2 percent per year, and at most 8.6 percent per year (this year), the PUD’s base rate has gone up typically between 4-15 percent per year and as high as 40 percent (2009).

Looking at the CPI and the PUD’s base rates over time, while the CPI increased by 42 percent since 2008, your base rates have gone up 341 percent (this is from public records).

You can see the problem here. A high base rate punishes low income and working families that try to conserve electricity to save money, since you pay base rates no matter how much energy you save. And it’s also a disincentive for solar energy.

Ken Hays is committed to get this fixed. Fair rates should have low base rates to provide incentives to conserve and save money.

The incumbent Will Purser voted for these incredible rate increases.

Vote for Ken Hays – a change for the better!

Paul Pickett

Port Angeles

Helpful hearing aids

President Biden signed a significant executive order recently, allowing over-the-counter hearing aid sales. Started in 2017 but never pursued by the previous administration, this will save 30 million Americans thousands of dollars. More importantly, people will now be able to hear.

We flourish with meaningful, practical improvements.

Clallam County, not isolated from influence by what’s happening around our state and country, will hear:

A recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) report shows the past administration bullied and prevented impartial scientists from disseminating facts about the COVID-19 disease. Information needed to stop the pandemic didn’t reach vast segments of our population. Rather, deadly lies were deliberately spread. Sadly, trust in public health diminished drastically.

Around our state, some sheriffs refused to support education and prevention about COVID-19. People became deaf to common sense and compassion, instead listening to leaders influenced by nonsense, political scheming, and abandonment of their duties and responsibilities to Washington communities. Cock and bull stories divided family and friends from one another.

Whether we discover conspiratorial exaggerations about a pandemic, immigration, elections, gun control, or police reform laws, judging keenly the calculating strategy of “constitutional sheriffs” will arrest the spread of harmful, misleading messaging in Clallam County.

As we vote, selection of local officials becomes a matter of hearing exactly what values and goals each person will truly offer in their leadership roles. And aids us in selecting those who protect and serve us all.

Gayle Brauner

Port Angeles